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Will Your Holiday Spending Pass This 3-Question Test?

November 05, 2015 at 12:00 AM

We’re heading into the dangerous money season. With the holidays quickly approaching it’s that annual time of year when the goodness of your heart can lead to very bad results: You overspend on gifts, dining out, or nights out on the town. 

Then come January the bills come due and you are in a big financial fix that either ends up with you running a credit card balance at an insanely high interest rate, or you scale back important financial goals-adding to your emergency fund, increasing your retirement savings-because you need more cash to pay off your holiday spending binge.

I can help you avoid this big financial mistake. All you need to do is memorize my 3-question test:

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Is it true?

Those are the three gatekeepers I personally use when I have a decision to make. I slow down and carefully ask myself all three questions. I will not do something if it is not kind, to me. Necessary, for me. And true to what I need and what I believe.

Those three gatekeepers can help you slow down before you overspend this holiday season. A gift purchase that comes from the deepest, purest place in your heart is nonetheless a mistake if it is not kind, to you. What do I mean by that? Well, if you can’t really afford the gift it’s a bad choice. Generosity is a two-way street. It must be as evident for the giver as the recipient.

No gift that explodes your budget is necessary. And don’t tell me you feel obligated to buy gifts, even though you know it’s not a smart financial move. People you love would be ashamed to know you over-extended yourself to give them a gift that isn’t affordable. And for all the other people in your life you don’t deeply care about, a gift is not necessary. A heartfelt note is all that is necessary.

 And I always want you to make sure you are standing in your truth when you make any decision, whether it is a $25 gift purchase or a $250,000 home purchase. Always ask yourself if what you are about to do jibes with who you are, what you care about, and your goals. Staying true to yourself is the kindest gift you can ever receive. You deserve it. 

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